Wish you could go back in time and redraw your eyebrows to both match each other and perfectly complement your face shape? One makeup artist recently described my brows as “twisted sisters” because they are so different. My brows require as much time as my eye shadow when I need to be camera-ready. I’m considering partaking in one of the beauty trends of the moment – “microblading” – to address this issue. First though, I wanted to do a little research from trusted sources.
Microblading is an eyebrow design process – some call it eyebrow architecture – that can be an instant lift to your face. It frames your eyes by enhancing your brows semi-permanently, so when you
wake up, you can just go, without worrying about makeup or brow grooming.
“Microblading creates the illusion of fuller brows by adding hair strokes within the brow shape,” explains medical aesthetician, Angela Blanchard of Chronos Body Health and Wellness in Metairie. “You can wake up without having to fill or define your brows. It’s fantastic for time saving and for those who want a beautiful but natural looking brow.”
The procedure isn’t painful like having a normal tattoo, since aestheticians numb patients using a prescription lotion. The most you’ll feel is a light scrape, and many patients report feeling nothing during the procedure. “It’s a semi-permanent tattoo,” Blanchard says. “What that means is that we aren’t going as deep as a traditional tattoo.”
Microblading is also extremely precise because of the tool used to sculpt your brows. It’s like a pen with several tiny needles that scratch your skin just enough to leave a semi-permanent mark, like a paper cut.
“Microblading fills in or corrects uneven, sparse or nonexistent brow,” says Cindy Boudreaux, who is double certified in microblading and works at Shay’s Health and Beauty Spa in Uptown New Orleans. “The best benefit of microblading is confidence: having fuller or even brows that don’t wipe off and are waterproof is such a relief to many women and men who struggle with insecurities due to brows.”
Like any cosmetic procedures, patients respond in various ways. Since this is only a semi-permanent tattoo, aestheticians can somewhat tweak a patient’s results several weeks after the initial procedure. They can adjust the color or shape of the brow, according to a patient’s preference. “You’ll need to have your brows touched up 6 weeks after your first session and then every 6-8 months after that,” Blanchard explains. “Everyone holds their pigment differently and there are many factors that can impact this.”
Skin type plays a role in the eventual outcome of microblading. If you have extremely dry or oily skin, microblading may not “stick” as well on you as someone who has normal skin. All of this can be determined during a patient’s initial consultation. “Lifestyle plays a part in retention,” Boudreaux notes. “For instance, if someone uses a lot of retinol creams or is in the sun a lot, the microblading results may not last as long and a touch-up would be required sooner. ”
Once someone decides microblading is for them, the aesthetician should spend extensive one-on-one time with them, creating the perfect brow for their individual features and face shape. “We draw the brow design out and make sure both the client and technician agree on the shape before we begin the treatment,” Blanchard says. “This part takes the longest because we measure everything out for symmetry and correct any asymmetrical areas. The initial procedure then can take anywhere from one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half hours.”
Since there is no pain or anesthesia associated with the procedure, patients can drive themselves home after microblading and resume their normal routines, minus any exercise for 24-72 hours. You can wash your face that night, apply moisturizer and use makeup the following morning – although not directly on your brows. Post microblading, you’ll need to treat your eyebrows like a wound for two weeks, meaning no makeup or contaminants that could infect the area. Only anti-microbial cleanser and sunscreen can be used. A patient should look and feel normal enough to return to work or social activities the next day. Like with most cosmetic procedures, it is recommended that you NOT schedule microblading before a photo shoot or an important event such as a wedding.
“Immediately after the procedure, you’re going to be in love with your brows,” Blanchard says. “We always warn people to trust the process though, because come day three, you’re going to feel like the color is too dark. Then you’ll feel the strokes magically disappear around two weeks. This is all part of the process. The strokes are healing and that creates a roller coaster of a process. But your technician will be there to guide you.”
Boudreaux agrees that the first seven to ten days, a patient’s brows will look starker than the end result. “The day of the procedure your brows will likely look more like a ‘make up’ look, meaning they will look a little darker,” Boudreaux explains. “However, they will heal over the course of the next week and a half. The brows may be a little tender but nothing major to prohibit you from regular activities. In a week or so, the brows will start to heal and soften up, blending into a more natural look.”
Since microblading is a tattoo (albeit semi-permanent) in the center on your face, it’s crucial to have an expert perform the procedure at a facility equipped with dedicated, sterile space.
Boudreaux has one final nugget of advice for those considering microblading, and that is to realize microblading is an art, performed by an individual artist.
“Someone wanting microblading should ask to see the artist’s certificates of training, along with before and after pictures of the brows,” Boudreaux says. “This will give the client a good idea of someone’s training and style. Also, look for reviews on the artist. Ask the artist their idea for your brows and see if that’s in line with what you’re looking for. Don’t let an artist talk you into a look that you’re not comfortable with because removal is painful and expensive.”